Driving over the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, drivers often admire the green landscape as they approach Coronado. Since it has a mild climate, Coronado provides a natural habitat for growing beautiful, green trees. Currently, Coronado has over 9,000 public trees and is designated by the Arbor Day Foundation to be a Tree City USA. To be a Tree City the city must meet four standards: maintain a tree department, have a community tree ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrate Arbor Day. Across the US, there are 3,400 tree cities. In fact, Coronado has been a Tree City USA community for 34 years and works to maintain this important designation. Not only do the trees look beautiful but they also provide shade and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
The Coronado Street Tree Committee looks after the city’s lovely trees and meets monthly with five volunteer members who collaborate with the City Public Services Supervisor to develop a street tree master plan. They also work on tasks such as identifying which tree species are to be approved or restricted for planting on city property. Once a year, the City of Coronado’s Street Tree Committee and Department of Public services plan an annual “Plant a Tree Day.” The 2020 event was held February 29th and began at Spreckels Park. There, volunteers of all ages were shown a brief demonstration of the tree planting process and provided tools. Groups were assigned locations to plant their trees. The tree planting locations were selected by the city of Coronado with approval from homeowners who agreed to water the trees. Specifically, the trees were planted in parkways in front of houses (the area between the sidewalk and the curb).
Anne David, head of the Coronado Street Tree Committee, planned this event which attracted around 100 volunteers and planted 37 trees. One of Anne’s inspirations for leading this event was her own personal experience. “When I first moved here, I asked the city for permission to remove some trees in front of my house. Then, I found out about all the steps required to get the tree removed so the city does not want to decrease the total number of trees.”
One of the many volunteer groups included members from Girl Scout Troop 5184. Girl Scout Emma Borgie said, “The reason we volunteered here today was that living in Coronado, we love to be surrounded by many trees. I understand how important trees are to the environment and how our environment is changing with so much extra carbon dioxide in the air. Our tree is now small, but in a few years it will be large and consume all the carbon dioxide it can to make Coronado and the earth a better place.”
For those planting trees, it was often a new experience. The process of digging the holes was difficult according to Jackie Reyes. “First, we had to use our shovels to dig beneath the grass. Once we reached the dirt, our group needed help, and the homeowner lent us a ‘post-hole digger.’ This helped us scoop the dirt faster and sped up the process by a lot. Then, we arranged a space for the tree in the hole and filled it up with water.”
These new trees will grow and will enhance the community for years. The Coronado Street Tree Committee will have a booth at the Coronado Flower Show, on April 18-19, for people who have further questions.